Doctors’ association complains to PM about ‘VIP culture’, says politicians getting priority COVID-19 testing
The Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) said several hospitals had separate VIP counters for politicians in several government hospitals, and doctors also had to go to their homes
The Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), an association of doctors, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi complaining about the prevalence of 'VIP culture' in government hospitals amidst another COVID-19 wave in the country.
In the letter to the PM, the doctors underscored that several hospitals had separate VIP counters for politicians in several government hospitals, while there were no facilities for doctors even when they test positive for COVID-19.
This was happening even though politicians were responsible for the surge in COVID-19 cases by holding rallies, it contended. “Priority is being given to all the so-called politicians and their party workers who have actually held rallies and increased the spread of the virus,” said FAIMA in the letter.
The doctors complained that they were being forced to go to the homes of politicians to attend to them. “Even when VIP counters are available for COVID-19 testing, a majority of the politicians call doctors at their residence, even though there is no legal order from Medical Superintendent; it is happening informally. This further reduces and wastes the limited manpower available,” wrote the doctors in the letter signed by FAIMA president Dr Rakesh Bagdi, vice president Dr Amarnath Yadav and general secretary Dr Suvrankar Datta.
The doctors highlighted that though they are at the frontline of the pandemic, treating patients risking their own lives, all they get in return is long wating queues for COVID-19 testing, no beds or ICU facilities.
Strongly opposing the ‘VIP culture’ being rewarded, the doctors said that they wanted the Prime Minister to look into the matter.
Their letter comes amidst the news that in the past 24 hours, India recorded 1,61,736 new COVID-19 cases and 879 deaths, taking the tally to 1.36 crore cases. On Monday, the country recorded 1.68 lakh Covid-19 cases in a day, the biggest-ever surge in a day.
In Delhi, 13,500 cases were reported in 24 hours and more than 65% of the cases were of those below the age of 45. At the peak of the COVID-19 wave in November, Delhi had seen the biggest single-day surge of 8,500 cases.